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It was a "textbook banana peel slip," according to the court documents

Mike Pomranz
May 14, 2018

Leafy greens are considered part of a healthy lifestyle—when you eat them, not when you go for a stroll across them on a marble floor. It’s a lesson a California man says he learned the hard way after slipping on lettuce at a Houston hotel—and now he’s now suing for up to $1 million in damages.

According to court documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle, William Anthony Packard was at the Hilton Houston Downtown hosting “approximately 40 extremely important guests at a private dinner in order to raise money for a non-profit charity” but from the start, things weren’t going as planned. Packard claims his event was understaffed, and the workers that were there were "getting increasingly frantic and falling woefully behind in their service of the food and removal of plates.” By the time the main course was due to come out, Packard was so frustrated that he decided to see what was going on. That’s when he says things took a turn for the worse.

“As he walked out of the main entry door to the banquet room Mr. Packard slipped and fell extremely hard on the marble floor from lettuce leaves that were haphazardly strewn on the floor of the main entrance,” court records state. “Apparently, the servers were using the main pedestrian entry door as their service entrance instead of the designated service door to serve meals.”

Just how bad was the fall? The lawsuit describes it thusly: “The fall was so traumatic that Mr. Packard remembers seeing both his feet fly above his head in a textbook ‘Banana Peel Slip.’” Granted, a ‘banana peel slip’ probably doesn’t qualify as either medical or legal jargon, but you know what he means. This would have been like America’s Funniest Home Videos-winning material… except for the fact that Packard claims it resulted in him suffering severe injuries to his right hip, back, elbow, ankles and left knee. So, yeah, not funny at all, apparently.

Packard is now suing American Liberty Hospitality for not maintaining safe conditions and negligent hiring and supervision, saying that beyond his injuries, the hotel wasn’t properly set up to host the event to begin with. He’s reportedly seeking between $200,000 and $1 million in compensation.

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